Korea Aerospace Industries LTD (KAI) announced on June 29 that the company concluded the second mass-production deal (Block 2) for the TA-50 lead-in fighter trainer jets with South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
In the deal, worthy of approximately 688.3 billion won (US $575 million), the South Korean sole aircraft maker will deliver the tactically introductory TA-50 trainer and the integrated logistics support system by 2024. The TA-50 aircraft, an advanced T-50 trainer variant, designed for the tactical training purpose of air force pilots is mounted with radars, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles.
An official at KAI said:
“The T-50 trainer jets proved their high training effects while the Korean Air Force has been operating those aircraft since 2005,” adding that “KAI will deliver zero-defects quality aircraft in order for the Air Force to cultivate the best pilots.”
To date, KAI has exported a total of 64 units of the T-50 aircraft to the Philippines, Iran and Thailand – and with Indonesia as the launch customer. The aircraft, based on its excellent overseas operation performance, draws a high attention of the neighboring countries around the existing export destinations.
Currently, in order to set its sights on further expansion abroad, KAI is in pursuit of performance improvement, including beef-up of arms capabilities and enlargement of flight range in sync with the requirements of the overseas potential clients, based on the FA-50 trainer jet.
Coupled with it, the company is going to make inroads into the major countries, like the Southeast East nations and the South and Middle regions via various custom-made package development, such as cost-competitiveness reinforcement of an aircraft, industrial cooperation, financial support, technical assistance and education & training.